cinema

Film review: Crawl

 Originality can be tricky to maintain in cinema, but the once formulaic horror genre has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent years with filmmakers continually tweaking their interpretations. French director Alexandre Aja has previously tackled the slasher movie as well as delving into the downright absurd, and his latest effort falls firmly into the creature feature category. Crawl’s preposterous plot follows aspiring swimmer Haley (Kaya Scodelario) who, in the midst of a Florida hurricane and against the instruction of the local authorities, decides to visit her father. What’s the worst that could happen?

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cinema · EIFF19

Film review: Sons of Denmark (Danmarks sønner)

Writer and director Ulaa Salim taps into the tortuous topic of terrorism with his feature debut Sons of Denmark. Set in the near future, the plot follows Muslim teenager Zakaria (Mohammed Ismail Mohammed) in the wake of a major bomb attack in Copenhagen. Feeling marginalised due to the rise of a right-wing political group, he is led down a dark path where he meets Malik (Zaki Youssef) and the pair are assigned an extremely dangerous mission.

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cinema · EIFF19

Film review: Thirty (Dreissig)

Bulgarian filmmaker Simona Kostova taps into the societal pressures and insecurities of getting older with German indie drama Thirty. Writing, editing, and directing the project, she tells the story of five friends approaching the end of their twenties. Birthday boy Övünç, and his friends Pascal, Raha, Kara, and Henner come together in celebration, and head out into the busy streets of Berlin to mark the occasion.

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cinema · EIFF19

Film review: Strange But True

British filmmaker Rowan Athale heads across the pond for his latest feature Strange but True, based on John Searles’ novel of the same name. The noir-thriller plot follows Philip (Nick Robinson) who has moved back to his hometown to recover from a broken leg. When heavily pregnant Melissa (Margaret Qualley) turns up at his door, she tells him that his brother Ronnie (Connor Jessup) is her child’s father. The strange part is…Ronnie was killed in a car accident five years earlier.

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cinema · EIFF19

Film review: The Tobacconist (Der Trafikant)

Based on Robert Seethaler’s best-selling novel of the same name, director Nikolaus Leytner presents a coming-of-age historical drama set in Nazi-occupied Vienna. The plot follows teenager Franz (Simon Morzé) who moves to Austria to be the apprentice of titular tobacconist Otto (Johannes Krisch) at his shop. As he settles into the community, he falls in love with dancer Anezka (Emma Drogunova) and befriends Sigmund Freud (Bruno Ganz) who offers words of wisdom as Franz experiences vivid dreams.

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EIFF19 · Interviews

Schemers Interview: “This is a celebration of Scottish culture and there needs to be more of that, for sure!”

Schemers is the first feature-length movie to be made in Dundee, and follows the adventurous early years of music producer David McLean. Ahead of its premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, I was fortunate to sit down with writer/director McLean and leading actor Conor Berry to chat about their film.

What triggered the project and why did you decide to make it now?

Dave – Well it’s been a work in progress for a good few years…I’ve always fancied being a writer. I’d wrote the original script in 10 days but that was four years ago. Pals say to me ‘why don’t you do it? You’ve got loads of stories’ so when the band I manage (Placebo) had a bit of downtime, I thought this is the time to do it. We got the script, we got the money, and we just made it. We thought we’d make it about the early years because there was a good soundtrack for that time. It was a good period. It was exciting.

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